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Re: New guidelines

From: Nir Dagan <nir.dagan@econ.upf.es>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 05:14:50 GMT
Message-Id: <199808102019.WAA15283@darwin.upf.es>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Two comments on te new guidelines:

After the guideline of separating structure with 
presentation we find the technique:

"2. Style sheets should be used to
   control layout and presentation
   wherever and as soon as
   possible. Until then, tables (to
   control layout) and bit-map text
   with alt-text (for special text
   effects) may be used, with 
   alternative pages used as
   necessary to ensure that the
   information on the page is
   accessible. [Priority 2]"

Why bring  *exceptions* to the principle of 
separation of content from presentation, e.g., using 
tables for layout, rather than bringing examples where 
stylesheets do a much better job than markup. e.g., 
horizontal margins with CSS work fine on MSIE3, MSIE4 
and Communicator, so why use tables for this feature? 

The "special text effects" bit is even more 
confusing. There are some very good examples 
of text effects done with CSS on the various
W3C pages on CSS.

Also the technique that follows talks about relative sizes 
where using images for text uses pixels.

"Until then" has already arrived for many 
presentation features. This should be emphasized.

In Section E.
"Guideline: Use only 
- elements or attributes in the HTML 2.0 (or higher)
- style rules in a W3C CSS specification. [Priority 1] "

Using HTML elements nested in an invalid way 
not excluded. For example if I write a paragraph in 
inside a heading, it seems to be OK with the above 

I think it would be better to write, "Write HTML and CSS 
with accordance to the latest W3C recommendations."

In my view HTML3.2 and older is allowed only in 
existing documents. New ones are to be written in 
the latest spec. The latest spec. takes into account 
the older ones, and widely deployed features, and is 
generally designed to be backward compatible with 
older browsers. Where it is not, it is usually
stated explicitly.

Actually using elements outside the specs. but 
keeping the correct nesting of elements whenever defined 
is much more predictable than (and thus preferrable to) 
using HTML2.0 and higher elements and nesting them 
without any restriction.   I this regard Bobby cannot be used as 
the sole checker, it doesn't check for valid nesting. An SGML parser 
based validator is the only reliable tool from this aspect.


Nir Dagan                            
Assistant Professor of Economics      
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Barcelona (Spain)

email: nir.dagan@econ.upf.es
Received on Monday, 10 August 1998 16:11:21 UTC

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